Dr Neeraj Gugnani (Commonwealth Scholar, Dental Science, University of Manchester, 2008 – 2009) and Dr Rishi Bali (Commonwealth Scholar, Infection Control, Imperial College, London, 2008 – 2009) were both from the same home institution in India, the DAV Dental College & Hospital, Yamunanagar
During their awards, Dr. Gugnani worked in the Field of early caries diagnosis while Dr Bali worked on infection control and occupational safety in dentistry. Both the scholars were invited as guest speaker at the prestigious Indian Dental Conference from .10-13 February, conducted held in Jaipur. Dr Gugnani spoke about the “Caries Diagnosis: International trends and Indian scenario”. During his lecture he discussed the need of mindset changes among the dentists of developing nations to diagnose the disease at the early stage. He shared the knowledge gained during his award, on the modern technological tools and suggested that, with modern techniques, it is possible to fulfill the WHO goal of achieving caries free generation in future.
Dr Bali’s presentation “Risk of Blood borne viruses in Dentistry” discussed the risk of occupational exposures to blood borne viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C among healthcare professionals. He emphasized that though occupational exposures can be minimized by strict adherence to universal precautions, they cannot be completely eliminated, hence it is imperative that dentists remain adequately immunized & take proper precautions. He appealed to the Indian authorities to bring in a regulation similar to the regulation in the UK for mandatory immunization of all dental healthcare workers against Hepatitis B. Both the presentations were appreciated by all those attending, and showed the ongoing impact that Commonwealth Scholarship alumni have in their home countries following their awards.